The number of people using mediation to resolve family disputes has risen, the government announced this week.
In their figures for the third quarter of 2015 – July to September – the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) revealed that the number of mediation sessions started was 19 per cent higher than last year.
The MoJ admitted that the number of people seeking mediation “fell sharply” after the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO). However, they claimed that those numbers have now “stabilised at around half of pre-LASPO levels”.
Disputes involving children were the most common during this quarter, with 1,455 ‘mediation starts’ during that time. This represents 64 per cent of all sessions. They also resulted in a successful agreement in 67 per cent of cases, making it the category with the highest success rate according to the MoJ.
Last month, research suggested that while people wanted to avoid the court system, their enthusiasm for mediation was relatively low. While 70 per cent of those surveyed claimed they had approached the other party outside of court to come to an agreement, only 23 per cent had pursued mediation.
The full MoJ statistics for the quarter are available here.